UK Government Will Not Buy More AstraZeneca's COVID-19 Treatment

UK Government Will Not Buy More AstraZeneca's COVID-19 Treatment
  • The U.K. government said it wouldn't procure AstraZeneca Plc's AZN Evusheld doses due to "insufficient data on the duration of protection against the omicron variant," according to the BMJ, a peer-reviewed trade journal.
  • Evusheld, a combination of tixagevimab and cilgavimab, will now be evaluated by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which can take around 20 months.
  • The government said the decision was based on independent clinical advice from Rapid C-19, a multi-agency initiative.
  • Related: AstraZeneca, GSK's COVID-19 Therapies Lose Efficacy Against Omicron's Subvariants.
  • Government officials will meet with AstraZeneca again to determine whether any new real-world data have emerged from other countries that the expert panel should consider. 
  • In March, the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency approved Evusheld to prevent COVID-19 in people unlikely to mount an immune response from vaccination or for whom vaccination was not recommended.
  • In May, researchers from the University of Oxford published a preprint reporting that the omicron lineage, particularly the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, had "escaped or reduced the activity of monoclonal antibodies developed for clinical use" but that Evusheld and Sotrovimab "still show activity against BA.4/5." 
  • Price Action: AZN shares are down 0.61% at $66.40 during the premarket session on the last check Tuesday.
  • Photo by Paul McManus from Pixabay

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